Thursday, May 15, 2008

Woman Indicted in MySpace Suicide Case

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a Missouri woman for her alleged role in perpetrating a hoax on the online social network MySpace against a 13-year-old neighbor girl who then committed suicide.
Lori Drew of suburban St. Louis was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.
Drew allegedly helped create a MySpace account on false premises to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, who turned out not to exist.
Megan hanged herself at home in October 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.
Drew has denied creating the account or sending messages to Megan.
MySpace is based in Beverly Hills. The indictment noted that MySpace computer servers are located in Los Angeles County.
Due to juvenile privacy rules, the U.S. attorney's office said, the indictment refers to the girl as M.T.M.
Each count in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Last month, an employee of Drew, 19-year-old Ashley Grills, told ABC's "Good Morning America" she created the false MySpace profile but Drew wrote some of the messages to Megan.
Grills also claimed Drew suggested talking to Megan via the Internet to find out what Megan was saying about Drew's daughter, who was a former friend of Megan's.
Grills said she wrote the message to Megan about the world being a better place without her, which was supposed to end the online relationship with "Josh" because Grills felt the joke had gone too far.
"I was trying to get her angry so she would leave him alone and I could get rid of the whole MySpace," Grills told the morning show.
Megan's death was investigated by Missouri authorities, but no state charges were filed.

911 Operator Who Cursed at Caller Fired

A Nashville 911 operator has been fired after saying during a call that he didn't "give a s---" about what happened to a woman whose ex-boyfriend was threatening her.
Nashville TV station WTVF reports Sheila Jones called 911 after her ex-boyfriend held her at knifepoint. She said he eventually left her home, but kept calling and threatening her.
Emergency officials did not show up until nearly three hours after her initial call.
Jones called 911 again two-and-half-hours into the incident to say she was afraid. A recording of the call has operator Frank Roth promising police would be there soon. After Jones hangs up, he says, "I really just don't give a s--- what happens to you."
Emergency Communications Center spokeswoman Amanda Sluss said Wednesday Roth was in training at the time of the February incident and was dismissed the next month.

Girl Scout Sells 17,328 Boxes of Cookies

A Girl Scout sold 17,328 boxes of the group's signature cookies this year by setting up shop on a street corner, shattering her troop's old mark and probably setting a national record.
Jennifer Sharpe, a 15-year-old from Dearborn, plans to travel to Europe with her troop with the proceeds from her feat.
"It's always been one of those goals I wanted to accomplish," Sharpe said Wednesday.
The two bakeries that make the cookies said Sharpe sold more than anyone this year, according to Dianne Thomas, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit.
Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for the New York-based national organization, called the figure "amazing" but said there's no national record on the books.
"We're thrilled for the girls who take it to such a great level, but so far, we don't track it at the national level," she said.
Sharpe sold cookies every day on a street corner with help from her mother and troop leader, Pam Sharpe.
"We were always there; we never closed," Pam Sharpe said. "At one point, Jenny got really sick and we did shut down early, and we heard about it the next day."
Jennifer Sharpe's Troop 813 raised about $21,000 in cookie sales, paying for its 10-day trip to Europe this winter. Troops get only part of the proceeds from their members' sales.
The cookie program has helped push Jennifer out of her shell, Pam Sharpe said.
"It's made her really confident," she said. "I remember when she first started selling, she was very shy and quiet and you had to push her out to talk to customers, but now she's right out there, first to the door."
One thing that hasn't changed, despite selling thousands of boxes for the past few years, is Jennifer Sharpe's feelings about the cookies.
"I love them," she said.

Of course she loves those cookies. Why else would she sell so many? Probably for the money. But if you want the money enough, you will sell anything. And I am disgusted by Girl Scouts. They are always annoying. I only buy Girl Scout cookies from my friends. I hate when a bunch of little girls come and irritate me while trying to get me to buy thier cookies. I never thought someone could sell so many cookies. It is insaine! I find Girl Scouts to be brainwashed young children who are bribed into going door to door trying to sell you what they've got. And that is a bad idea to post in a young child's mind. Especially in the society we live in. Where children are constantly abducted, and sometimes raped. Then again, those girls think that everything is perfect and couldn't be better...such lies...

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